Dear Editor,

As the author of the unabridged guide to federal gun law, an attorney asked me to draw up a list of crimes apparently committed by the assailants at Columbine High School in Colorado. I drew up this generic list and I was surprised by how long it was:

Premeditated murder
Attempted murder
Aggravated assault
Assault with a deadly weapon
Assault and battery
Assault Threatening and intimidating
Conspiracy to commit felony
Conspiracy to commit misdemeanor
Aiding and abetting
Providing firearm to minor
Providing handgun to minor
Possession of firearm by minor
Possession of handgun by minor
Possession of firearm by minor without federally required permission slip from parent or guardian
Use of firearm or bomb to commit murder that is federally prosecutable
Possession of NFA weapon (sawed off shotgun)
Manufacture of NFA weapon
Brandishing a gun
Brandishing a bomb
Possession of bomb making materials
Possession of explosives
Possession of explosives by minor
Possession of explosives with malicious intent
Making of explosives
Placing of explosives
Use of explosives
Concealed carry without permit
Gun on school grounds
Another gun on school grounds
Yet another gun on school grounds
Possession of ammunition on school grounds
Fraudulently obtaining guns and ammo
Discharging firearm in city limits
Discharging firearm on school grounds with reckless disregard for another person's safety
Disturbing the peace
Committing a hate crime
Multiple counts of all of the above
Multiple torts (harm suffered that is subject to civil lawsuits; Colorado prohibits lawyers from soliciting clients within 30 days of an injury, but out-of-state lawyers were reportedly calling relatives for potential clients within a week of the event.)
Conspiracy to hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into New York City

You also have aggravating circumstances and anything a reasonable Colorado prosecutor could no doubt add to this list. For instance, Colorado law includes two to six years for the parents if they allowed the boys to possess a firearm, knowing of substantial felony risk.

In the rush to enact more laws, we perhaps overlook the fact that everything criminal about this heinous attack is already totally illegal. If you want to fix the laws, it helps to know what they are. We keep such information posted at our newly beefed-up website, studied this for a decade now, it seems to me that no law can stop a murderer. Only another person can do that.

It is also critical to realize that 6,000 kids brought weapons to school in 1997 (according to the Dept. of Education), in complete violation of the federal Gun-Free School Zones law -- calling for at least five years in prison -- but the kids were just sent home. One of these was Kip Kinkle, who came back the next day to commit most of the crimes listed above.

Representatives in government are well aware that we barely enforce the perfectly good laws we have. Ask them why. And what, you must wonder, is their motive for instantly seeking more laws? What other agendas could they possibly have, using a tragedy to stir up support?

ALAN KORWIN is the author of the unabridged guide,
"Gun Laws of America--Every Federal Gun Law
on the Books, with Plain English Summaries,"
and state gun-law guides for AZ, CA, FL, TX, VA.

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